We would have loved to talk about how well the Apacer Thunderbird PT910 performed in our tests today, but the performance didn't back up that line of thinking. Performance wise, this product is a dud right out of the box. Several companies have built better performing All-in-One RAID SSDs, and Apacer had an opportunity to deliver a product of equal performance, but chose the cheap way rather than the right way to piece this product together.
The company started off with four-channel controllers that are already several generations old. The SF-2241 wasn't even designed for high-performance use to begin with. The controller was meant for OEM customers needing a low-power controller to extend notebook battery life performance while delivering HDD replacement performance. That is hardly the start for a product designed for gamers and enthusiasts.
The Marvell 88SS9220 RAID controller follows the same line of thought: low cost with substandard performance. All of the All-in-One RAID products are at a disadvantage on the RAID controller side. The Intel RAID built into the PCH is one of the best available for up to four drives, but the array has to share bandwidth with other PCH devices like USB ports. If a company wants to make a product with just two drives, then it's already awash compared to onboard RAID that everyone already has. Apacer would have been much better off slamming four SSDs with a higher-spec Marvell controller. Other companies have already released that product with mixed success for this unique product category.
Putting the nail in the product packaging is the fact that M.2 PCIe-based products are faster than the Apacer Thunderbird PT910 in many workloads and real-world software tests. The only real way Apacer can compete with these products is on price. With three PCBs, two SandForce controllers, and a Marvell RAID controller, I don't see that happening. We couldn't find this model listed for sale online yet, so we don't know what the price will be.
There is something to be said about the ease of installation. This product doesn't require additional drivers if you run a modern operating system. With that said, neither does the Samsung XP941 256GB that costs just under $1 per GB at the time of writing. The numbers today show which product is faster, so it shouldn't be difficult to pick a winner.
Product Summary Breakdown
|Performance (including Overclocking w/a)||64%|
|Quality including Design and Build||83%|
|Bundle and Packaging||90%|
|Value for Money||N/A|
|Overall TweakTown Rating||76%|
The Bottom Line: These products are already on the way out as native PCIe SSDs come to market. The PT910 uses a low-cost SSD controller so it started out as a dud and can't even compare to high performance SATA SSDs on the market today.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
United States: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon's website.
United Kingdom: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon UK's website.
Canada: Find other tech and computer products like this over at Amazon Canada's website.
- Page 1 [Introduction & Specifications, Pricing, and Availability]
- Page 2 [Apacer Thunderbird PT910 PCIe 256GB SSD]
- Page 3 [Test System Setup and ATTO Baseline Performance]
- Page 4 [Benchmarks - Sequential Performance]
- Page 5 [Benchmarks - Anvil Storage Utilities]
- Page 6 [Benchmarks - Mixed Read / Write Workloads]
- Page 7 [PCMark 8 Consistency Test]
- Page 8 [PCMark 8 Consistency Test - Continued]
- Page 9 [Final Thoughts]
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